My career took quite a swerve when I was offered the job of Story Editor on the second season of THE PROFESSIONALS around 1979.
My directing career was in a rut – I think the Film Schools were turning out directors like new pennies …. so, when my agent suggested I try for the job (he already represented the Producer, Raymond Menmuir), I wisely suppressed the quip, ” Yes, I will – but what is it?”
In fact it was something I had been doing for years. I wrote my first short story, THE DEATH HAS OCCURRED when I was in my early teens. It must have come out of my day job as a cub reporter on a local paper “covering” deaths and weddings.
Needless to say, it was never published but it came, no doubt, out of my macabre fascination with the task of knocking on doors for details of the “dear departed”. It was a strange job for a fourteen year old because one often conducted the interview with the open coffin in the front room. Warned of this possibility by older hands I had asked one of the local undertakers for a private view, as it were, to help steady my qualms.
But I digress (something I am incurably apt to do) my interview with Raymond Menmuir was at the London Weekend HQ over looking the Thames, The National Theatre and The Festival Hall.
When Ray left me alone in his office on the umpteenth floor to consider the offer I stood staring out of the window wondering how I was going to come up with the thirteen shows including a couple I had slipped into the contract for me to write.
That’s when I came up with the idea for my first script, FIRST NIGHT …. (TO BE CONTINUED)
This is the first in a series of blogs about my second (or is that my third, fourth or fifth career) as a professional script writer …